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Museveni, MPs plot age limit passage

President Museveni

Behind closed doors at State House Entebbe, President Museveni has held back and forth meetings with his ruling party MPs to plan how to marshal their numbers in parliament for the passage of the age limit removal bill.

Well-placed sources have told The Observer that the meetings started on Tuesday, October 10 when he met the core team that has for months been quietly working on the bill controversially tabled in parliament on September 27 by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi.

The Tuesday evening meeting was attended by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa, ministers; Kahinda Otafiire (Justice and Constitutional Affairs), Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde (Security), Mwesigwa Rukutana (deputy Attorney General), David Bahati (state for Planning) and Evelyn Anite (state for Investments and Privatisation).

These were joined by Parliamentary Commissioners; Arinaitwe Rwakajara (Workers), Peter Ogwang (Usuk) and Robinah Nabbanja (Kakumiro Woman).

Others were Doreen Amule (Amolatar Woman), Jackson Kafuuzi (Kyaka South), Magyezi, Simeo Nsubuga (Kassanda South), James Kakooza  (Kabula), Moses Balyeku (Jinja Municipality West), Solomon Silwany (Bukooli Central), Mariam Naigaga (Namutumba Woman) and Margaret Muhanga (Burahya), among others.

According to sources, the meeting discussed the strategy for popularising the bill in the countryside and its eventual passing in parliament.

Wary of the strong opposition to the amendment from within the NRM caucus, Museveni asked the meeting to generate a list of MPs whom he has to meet to galvanise support.

In this, Museveni wants to ensure that he has at least 320 MPs on his side physically present in the House during the bill’s second and third reading before it is eventually passed.

Article 262 of the Constitution requires a two-thirds presence of all members of parliament for any constitutional amendment to pass.

It is for this reason that he had invited the ‘rebel’ NRM MPs for a meeting. The Observer reported on Wednesday that Museveni has been reaching out to the ‘rebel’ MPs, namely Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Monicah Amoding (Kumi Woman), Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West), Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (Kassanda North) and Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo South).

Others are Sam Lyomoki (Workers), Louis Mbwatekamwa Gaffa (Kasambya), John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya), Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality) and Sylvia Rwabogo (Kabarole Woman) for a meeting following their October 4 letter in which they challenged him to disassociate himself from the Magyezi bill.

Their meeting had been scheduled for Tuesday but was called off after the group made what were deemed to be unrealistic conditions. In fact, during the Tuesday meeting with the pro-age limit removal group, Museveni was advised to ignore the ‘rebel’ MPs.

“We told him that it was not necessary to meet them because it would give them political mileage and even then, we can get the numbers required to pass the amendment,” a source that attended the meeting said.

Museveni is said to have taken this counsel and instead met MPs from the core team singled out for him. Some of those that were included on the list are mainly those seen to be sitting on the fence such as Buliisa MP Stephen Biraahwa Mukitale.

In the corridors of parliament, Mukitale, an Independent, is one of the critical voices to the amendment although he has not featured so much in the media.

He fell out with NRM in 2015 when he worked with civil society organisations and opposition political parties to compile the Citizens’ Compact on free and fair elections, a document that listed a number of electoral and political reforms, which were ignored in the final government Constitutional Amendment bill 2016.

He was part of the group of MPs who Museveni met yesterday (Thursday) at Entebbe. According to MPs who have attended the meetings, Museveni asked the lawmakers to tell him the issues affecting their constituencies which he then promised to work on.

“We need to move as a team and on the same level of development; that is why he wants us to tell him the challenges in our constituencies,” an MP who preferred not to be named said.

From this narrative, it becomes evident that Museveni is using promises of public resources such as good roads, electricity, clean water and refurbished health facilities in their constituencies as an inducement to the MPs to pass the bill.

Claims of such inducements were first made by the ‘rebel’ MPs early this week. (See: NRM ‘rebel’ MPs claim Museveni wooing them, The Observer, October 11).

Rwakajara and NRM caucus treasurer Mariam Naigaga confirmed attending the meeting but declined to delve into the details.

“Are you a spy? Why do you want to know what we discussed?” Rwakajara asked before disappearing into the parliamentary lifts.
Naigaga, on the other hand, said, “What we discussed is confidential, it is not for public consumption but we will brief the media after the caucus meeting [today, Friday October 13].”

It is understood that during the Tuesday meeting, Museveni assigned Dr Rugunda to coordinate the age limit removal activities. They also drew a memorandum which will reportedly be read to the ruling party MPs during their caucus meeting today.

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Comments   

+4 #1 wazza 2017-10-13 14:15
Whereas it doesn't surprise me, reading such stuff makes my heart ache.

A country's destiny and future to be determined by a small group of people with unending insatiable greed for personal fortunes.

Cry the beloved country. Uganda being run like a road side kiosk! One day some people will pay dearly, we are watching!
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+2 #2 nkuutu kibedi 2017-10-13 14:28
Museveni is running scared!

This time his tactics have really backfired. UGANDA IS NOT FOR SALE!!!!
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+1 #3 Akot 2017-10-13 14:39
The entire world is waiting for Ugandans to UNITE & throw the dictator OUT!

The ball is in the camp of Ugandans & if they really don't want museveni & the entire system he put in place to finally own the zone, then the only solution is UNITY or Indpenedent Tribal States & NOW!

What's difficult here for Ugandans?

Is having the dictator without tribal land in Uganda, yet is chief tribal leader, a pride?

Will another 30 years be enough to let Ugandans understand they alone have the power to throw this demon out & for good?

Why have Ugandans become the only riduculous every one laughs at-ignores?

Museveni & foreign cos construct roads leading to tribal lands' riches & throws locals out, & we just watch!

Who is the demon sharing our land riches with, while giving pea nuts to tribal leaders without authority, to kep them quiet?
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+2 #4 A K Mukasa 2017-10-13 16:11
How can one man and his family hold a country of 36 million to ransom?

It beggars belief!

What does he have to do for the country to realise that he can no longer add any value to the social and economic betterment of Ugandans and for long the law of diminishing returns has been in action.

Why is there so much complacency in Uganda?

If Kenyans who have a much better standard of living than Ugandans can mantain demonstrations, what about Ugandans who are living hand to mouth and have little to lose as they almost have not stake in the status quo?

It is such a tragic state of affairs.
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+3 #5 Lakwena 2017-10-13 17:01
"For what will it profit a man/woman if he/she gains the whole world, but loses his/her soul (Matt16:26)?

For no apparent reasons, Mr. M7 has become more deceitful than Satan himself.

In other words, like Satan, the man has succeeded in luring many to sin against countrymen/woemand children. And as a result, many have become deceitful above all things; such that very few are left to throw the proverbial stone.

What a country? Evil rules!
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-4 #6 saeguya 2017-10-13 17:21
Can't the guy just rule til death without having to tamper with the constitution?

Let the guy rule til Jesus himself returns. The tension and the hate simmering is not healthy.

It's now red against yellow and regions against regions. We are one Uganda
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+3 #7 kabayekka 2017-10-13 20:56
This is a government without political shame. It has just won a National Election 2016.

It is now in a hurry after only a few months, to plan to win the next National General Election of 2021 and probably that of 2026.
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+4 #8 EDWARD MUKYANDA 2017-10-14 08:59
Money minded vultures not only selling and putting their own future at stake but that of their children and grand children to a chameleon.

They say power belongs to the people but they even fear to consult the people, thinking they can consult a few thousand people to get the views of almost 40 million Ugandans.

Do we really have the seventh sense, of reasoning?
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+1 #9 ouso 2017-10-14 20:58
it's time to show those who went to the bush in 1980 for financial gain and those that have joined them that no one was born knowing how to shoot the gun.
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+1 #10 Idi Amin 2017-10-14 22:43
Idi Amin did not die. He is alive and lives in he state house!

He liberated Uganda with Ugandans money from Idi Amin but he is Idi Amin with huge greed.26
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